VMware Buys into Performance Management

B-hive is the latest acquisition VMware has made to build out its management features for virtual environments and physical hardware.

VMware is adding a new layer of management capabilities to its Virtual Infrastructure suite that will now allow IT managers to measure the performance of applications within virtual machines.

The x86 virtualization giant announced May 28 that it would acquire B-hive Networks, a privately held company that specializes in application performance management software. The two companies did not release financial details of the deal, although the acquisition is expected to be completed sometime in the third quarter of 2008.

B-hive, which was founded in 2005, has offices in San Mateo, Calif., although its main research facility is located in Herzliya, Israel, and engineers from that office will help form a new research and development center for VMware in Israel.

The main product B-hive has developed is called B-hive Conductor, a virtual appliance that can provide a performance review of both virtual and physical environments. In addition to providing details of how well an application is performing, the software can also instruct VMware Infrastructure management suite to allocate more resources if the application is underperforming or provision a new virtual machine.

VMware plans to integrate the B-hive technology with its server and desktop products.

Taking a Virtual Pulse

Stephen Elliot, an analyst at IDC, believes that many businesses that use virtualization, especially those enterprises moving mission-critical applications into virtual environments, are looking to ensure that applications are available at all times to ensure business continuity.

What B-hive provides is a way to look at how the data flows through a virtual environment and correlate the data to determine the performance, response time and how well those virtualized applications are being managed.

"From an application management perspective, if your [company] is increasingly virtualizing -mission critical applications...' you're going to really need application management," said Elliot. "The cycle is repeating itself from what we have seen 10 years ago when application management and managing packaged applications and ERP applications was sort of the MO for a CIO. They have to maintain the availability of these applications and now we are seeing the same thing, only this time it is virtualized applications."

In the past year, VMware has begun buying a series of small companies that offer cutting-edge technology that has helped the company build out its management features for both the virtual environments as well as the physical hardware. For example, VMware has used the technology it acquired by buying Dunes Technologies to create a lifecycle management tool.

In the coming months, Elliot believes that VMware will continue to offer additional virtual lifecycle management tools to help automate the processes of the storage and administrative capabilities of its management suite.